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Interview with Good Luck Chuck Star - Dane Cook

Dane Cook Discusses the R-Rated Comedy Co-Starring Jessica Alba

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Interview with Good Luck Chuck Star - Dane Cook

Jessica Alba and Dane Cook in Good Luck Chuck.

© Lionsgate Films

Comedian/actor Dane Cook stars as Charlie Logan, a successful dentist who is the best thing that can happen to single women in the comedy movie Good Luck Chuck. Any woman Charlie dates winds up marrying the next guy she's with after him. In essence, he’s like a giant-size lucky rabbit’s foot for girls ready to commit

Once this secret’s out, the woman line up to have sex with Charlie. And while this might sound like the ideal situation for a bachelor looking to get laid, Charlie just winds up feeling lonely and used. That changes when he falls for a very lovely penguin specialist named Cam (Jessica Alba).

Dane Cook had nothing but compliments for his co-star Jessica Alba, who prior to this movie wasn’t really known for her physical comedy skills. “Jessica Alba never ceased to amaze me. The thing about her which was so rewarding, I come from the world of stand up comedy and in that world when you’re on stage, it’s about going forward. You can’t hold back. You have to really be willing to put yourself on the cusp of fear at all times. And watching her and working with her, we not only laughed our asses off quite a bit, but she really came in there and said, ‘I don’t care how I look. I don’t care any ego. What’s funny?’ When your co-star says that and it’s Jessica Alba, you know that you’re making something great together.

We had a blast. Everything meshed. And on top of that, we had just a great story with a really unique, just a real clever twist, so that we could really chew the scenery quite a bit.”

But don’t expect Dane Cook to kiss and tell. He’s shared liplocks onscreen with Jessica Simpson in Employee of the Month and now Jessica Alba in Good Luck Chuck, but the actor won’t say which Jessica was the better kisser. “I definitely am not going to comment on that. They’re both great people and I consider them both very good friends. So I guess the term ‘you don’t kiss and tell’ would apply.”

Actually, at this point Dane Cook’s kind of an expert on Jessicas, having now worked with Simpson, Alba, and the other gorgeous Jessica – Biel. “You know what? I feel like the gods have certainly patted me on the head. I’ve had some lovely Jessica’s to engage in some pantomime kissing with.”

In addition to Alba, Cook worked closely with Tony Award-winner Dan Fogler who plays his best buddy in the film. “When we really got underway and Dan Fogler came in…I thought this could be one of those real classic buddy movie moments. Granted we have an ‘R’ comedy on our hands, but what can we do to give it elements of that real classic, best friend, in true best friend roles like that? It always comes from love. Everything you do, whether it’s being a buffoon, or whether it’s being the guy who finally throws your car keys in the air in the moonlight, ‘Thanks man, I’m going to get the girl!’ Dan really brought elements of both to his character. He sometimes got on Chuck’s final nerve, but at the same time he also sets me up for some really great moments comedically and romantically with the Alba character. Dan really came through with what I think is a classic buddy movie character.”

First-time feature film director Mark Helfrich was open to letting Cook and Fogler stray from the script. “We definitely had our share of being let off the leash, so to speak. But again, I’m a performer, and especially with the collaborative effort of a film, that wants to see it on the page first,” explained Cook. “I’ve been in situations where somebody says, ‘Oh, just go in there and make it up when you go,’ and when you’re working with a team of people, not everybody’s thinking on the same parallel thinking. If it’s on the page, which Josh Stolberg wrote a great script that made me laugh out loud pacing around my house reading it, you get on to the set, you do it as written a couple of times, and then you might say to the director or Mark would say to us, ‘Are you feeling anything else? Is there any other truth that you can throw in here or just something’s funny that’s an aside or an asterisk that you can tag?’

When I finally watched the final movie, I’d definitely say there’s a big chunk of ‘in the moment spontaneous comedy’ that you can’t you just can’t have written. It’s a moment between two actors or an ensemble that an audience feels even more than what you’re saying. So you’re going to see a movie that has a solid script but also has moments where Dan and myself and even Jessica get to just let it fly and the results will be up on the big screen.”

The fact this was Helfrich’s rookie directorial effort made no difference on the set, according to Cook. “Obviously his IMDB of editing gigs is vast. I mean, you’d waste all your printer paper on it. This is a guy that would step on to the set with such a distinct, clear, laser-precision idea of how everything should be cut and focused, but the benefit was he knew how to talk to actors. He knew how to sit down with us and really find value in scenes. So not only did by the end of the day or by the end of the first few days of filming, I felt very capable in the hands of Mark, but he’s got a very bright future as a director and always as an editor. Comedy’s all about that timing. It’s so, so much about - yes, it’s got to be esthetically pleasing to the eye. Yes, it has to be lit properly. Yes, you want your locations to be glamorous. But comedy’s about timing and if you don’t have that as a director - you don’t get - it you’re in a world of s---. So Mark stepped in there and he was at the helm. I’m really proud to say I’m in his first comedy and hoping that it does well enough that we get to do it again.”

Page 2: The Sex Scenes, Penguins, and Future Projects

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